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IUMA: Tar Beach

Topics Tar Beach


ABOUT THE BAND... Acoustic Guitar, electric guitar, violin, bass, Latin percussion, harmonica, drums; it doesn't sound like the average four-piece group that you hear at your favorite establishment on a Saturday night. That's because it's not! An eclectic mix of instrumentation consolidated to form one wall of sound results in a sonic blend that seems different and fresh yet at the same time eerily familiar and comforting. That is Tar Beach. Originally formed in Easton, PA and now based in the Philadelphia Area, Tar Beach is an up-and-coming original music act that has been gaining notoriety thanks to its grass-roots approach to building a fan base. Formed in 1999, the band is known for their tightly crafted rock/pop compositions and energetic live shows. Tar Beach performances are ones that make true music lovers rejoice. There are no fireworks, light shows, or glam gear. Ask any fan, the most memorable aspect of any Beach show is the music and the emotion the band channels through it. Each song screams melody, melody, melody and the band's instrumental harmonies are second to none. While Tar Beach is almost exclusively an original act, the band routinely adds into the set cover songs ranging from Top 40 radio hits to obscure and almost-forgotten classics.

Tar Beach is composed of six member who formed the band as fraternity brothers at Lafayette College. The band's diverse sound can be traced through each individual member. When acoustic guitarist Steve Miller (yes that is his real name) and fiddle aficionado Bryan Berry decided to form a group, comparisons were immediately drawn to the Dave Matthews Band. With the addition of Ned Allis on lead guitar, the sounds of Southern blues-based rockers such as the Allman Brothers Band were brought into the mix. Karim Ouazzi brought the funk of James Brown and Larry Graham, while Jim Reeder emulates the drumming of his favorite genre, hard rock and heavy metal. Front man Dave Campos' vocal background is straight-up soul R&B, his percussion Latin- flavored to the likes of Tito Puente, and his harmonica blues driven like the sounds of Jon Popper. The concocted result is a sound quite unlike anything you have ever heard before.


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